October 10, 2014

Jennifer Lawrence and revenge porn

Columnist Violet Blue thinks Jennifer Lawrence is, or perhaps just should be, the new face of revenge porn. From a Playboy column:

Lawrence can count her lucky stars that ‘the fappening’ went the way it did, compared to the typical victim of online sexual assault. Most women who come to the website Without My Consent, which supports victims of online harassment, don’t have the money or resources to fight their attackers in court, to get the images taken down, or to pay for reputation repair. They lose their jobs, sometimes even custody of their kids. They file complaints with Facebook, only to wait for months for the images to come down. They don’t get special treatment by Google. They’re not contacted by Vanity Fair and given “a chance to get the last word.” Meanwhile, mental health can collapse; more than one young woman has committed suicide after comparable assaults this past year.

Unless you’ve had the uniquely gut-ravaging, anxiety-provoking experience of watching intimate photos of you passed around and commented on online without your consent, there’s no way to understand what this feels like. But Lawrence can relate to these women on an emotional level. I know a lot of revenge porn victims saw this happen to celebrities and thought, “Finally, it’s happened to someone who can do something about it. Maybe something will change.”

I’m not sure the correlation of leaking nude photos of celebreties and revenge porn, as in blackmail and we might take down the photos that are ruining your life, really exists, but Violet Blue is no doubt more well versed in these things than my meagre research has made me. Either way, this photo hack is a nasty mess, and anything that can limit such invasion of privacy in the future should be done. Assuming it doesn’t involve limiting our freedom, of course. That might be what many’ll see as the only option, and those are muddy waters we should stay clear of.

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